Tag Archives: Relationships

Outside – Chris

The Werhen house had been very quiet these last few months.  Vehicles would come and go, but the largest change was the empty driveway when they left. I hadn’t spent time to meet the new neighbors as work kept me busy, and frankly living this close to downtown and an amazing lake largely kept me away from the house in the summer.
Something had happened though.  I remember the police cars this early spring. I don’t know why, but I heard a scream that night, chilling, hopeless.  Then only quiet.
Today though, there is activity. An older gentleman is talking to a younger man with a tablet, he’s tapping away furiously while the older man gesticulates somewhat hastily in what seems to be some frustration.
A moving truck is rumbling down the road, and looks to be stopping at 168 W 12th street. The house with the red door. I kept staring at the door, just now noticing the windows above frame it like sorrowful eyes. The door finishes the face though, not in a smile. It seems the house is crying today.
The door slowly opens, I can see a bit of light brown hair, emerging, though the rest of her is silhouetted  by the presence of trucks, and the two men discussing something of importance.
The older gentlemen sees her, and suddenly stops talking.  He rushes over and gives her a fatherly embrace, I can see her hair bobbing in the motions of heaviness, though she only comes up to below his eyes.  She pulls away, says a statement to the man with the tablet, and while turning toward the house, waves at it, and him, to almost say good bye, or at least take it all.
 I see her sad face now, she looks back at the man who must be her dad, and begins what may be a smile, or a slight brightening of her face. As she starts to walk on, he follows her for a few steps, but she returns to him, and stands on her toes to give him a peck on the cheek.  His hand gives her back a small squeeze as she turns back toward the road.
She was beautiful.
Her hair was pulled up partially, leaving the rest cascading down her back.  As she took each step down the sidewalk, it bounced confidently with her body, in a paradox to the sad face I noticed before she started in front of me.  Her ensemble of clothing hugged her body, but the skirt slightly billowed at her waist.  I tried to ignore it, but her ass was perfect.
“Butt” I kept saying to myself, “Butt! No need to call her body parts derogatory names in your head.”
There was something about her, I must meet her.
I’ve now realized that I was staring.  The hose in my hand that was supposed to be washing my motorcycle, was now squirting helplessly in front of me. I quickly turned to look busy as her dad looked my way with an odd look on his face.
Trying to clear my head, I realized that my eyes had betrayed my thoughts.  This poor women was obviously grieving about something or someone.  There was no way she would be interested in meeting me.  It seems she is leaving anyway.  Typical, work, fun and circumstances would again not let me follow up on meeting someone.
I quick snuck another look her way, her back was to me, but her face was looking directly toward me.  “No, she must be looking toward her dad.” I thought. I checked, and he was busy talking to the truck driver.
“Who is she?” I thought?  “What happened?” “Would she ever be interested in the likes of me?”
Tear Drop

Down the Hall, Starting Over

Stepping into the hallway toward the stairs

I hear the muted click of my rubber edged heels against the gleaming oak floor. This house though now too much for me has so many memories. The scuff over by the base trim we made while I helped him bring the dresser upstairs.

“I got it, I got it!” I kept saying.

The wall ended up getting it as my fingers finally let go.

He would have been frustrated, but since we were making a bend, my scuff ended up distracting him as momentum carried his edge into the wall directly across from me. I take my hand and follow the gouge, still unpainted.

Sliding my fingers along the punctured wallboard, from afar it has looked like a painting error, or a heavy brush stroke resulting in a dimpled line along the wall. Staring at it now I could see the chips of paper hanging tenuously on the chalky plaster beneath. Each one perilously close to falling free from their ‘home’.

There is nothing that doesn’t remind me of his words.

“I love you.”

“I can’t wait to come home to see you.”

His smile, some would call it lazy, like his mouth wasn’t sure it should entirely comply with the request.

I loved it.

I loved how his eyes would brighten just before his lips would start to change shape.

I always knew that our fight was over, or he gave in when those eyes brightened. The smile was always the chocolate syrup on my own personal sundae. He would let me hug him for indeterminate amounts of time. Some of our friends would make comments, like “get a room” or “really? Again?”

I just liked the feel of him holding me.

Fighting back my tears, though not being very successful, I continued on down the stairs.

Tear Drop


These steps shouldn’t be a big deal, I have run, jumped and nearly slid down them so many times in the last year. It feels like I’m slipping now. That the steps themselves have morphed into a slide that will take me away, away from safety, away from our home. The end of the slide is unknown, it’s black, thick, and hard to breathe.

Each step echoes lightly, the oak treads recently refinished by his very hands. It’s as though I’m ripping each tread off the stairs, almost taking his work away from him.

Why does each step feel so final?

My left hand goes to my ear, and habitually wraps stray hair around it.

The knoll post is approaching, I hesitantly approach it. I reach out to touch it one more time. My hand graces the beauty and smoothness. The post that anchors the stairs.

His post.

It’s round, natural grain seems to stream into my eyes, as the sun hits the blond clear coat. I move my hand and the change in position splays shadows over my body.

The final step, the door stands in front of me, imposing, judging me.

I reach out, and grasp hold of the knob, the last barrier to my exit. The old knob normally would creak in resistance to the twisting motion, today greets me in silence. I pull slightly, and the sun streams into its new opening. Stepping onto my porch, I continue. Standing straight, looking good for the part I have to take.

Outside, starting over again.

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